Anabaptist Christianity: Mennonites, Huterians, Amish

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What is an Anabaptist Christian?

People in many parts of the world have become disillusioned with institutional, politically-compromised forms of Christianity. And as this occurs, there is increased interest in learning more about Anabaptism traditions that have called for a radical return to New Testament faith. In this article, Palmer Becker, a lifelong Mennonite pastor and educator, summarize Anabaptist understandings , namely that: (1) Jesus is the centre of our...

Menno Simons | biography

Menno Simons (1496-1561) was the most outstanding Anabaptist Christian leader of the Low Countries during the 16th century. His followers became known as Mennonites (Mennisten). His significance lies in the fact that he assumed the responsibilities of leadership at the crucial moment of the movement when it was in danger of losing its original identity under the influence of chiliastic and revolutionary leaders who succeeded...

Mennonite Theology

Mennonites have frequently viewed "theology" with suspicion and distrust: Their emphasis on the importance of discipleship and ethics most likely contributed significantly to Anabaptist and Mennonite suspicions of theology since the 16th century as they found it in the Roman Catholic tradition and the emerging Protestant groups. To some degree their distrust of theology was also conditioned by their experience of persecution and theological justification...

The Anabaptist Vision

Those who unite with them will be received into their church by rebaptism and repentance and newness of life. They henceforth lead their lives under a semblance of a quite spiritual conduct: They denounce covetousness, pride, profanity, the lewd conversation and immorality of the world, drinking and gluttony. In short, their hypocrisy is great and manifold. The people are running after them as though they...

Schleitheim Confession

The Schleitheim Confession was the most representative statement of Anabaptist principles, endorsed unanimously by a meeting of Swiss Anabaptists in 1527 in Schleitheim (Switzerland). The Confession consisted of seven articles, written during a time of severe persecution. The articles we have dealt with, and in which we have been united, are these: baptism, the ban, the breaking of bread, separation from abomination, shepherds in the...

Felix Manz Anabaptism

Felix Manz, one of the founders and first martyr of the original Swiss Brethren congregation in Zürich, Switzerland, was born about 1498. On 21 January Swiss Anabaptists performed the rite of adult baptism and held a communion service among themselves, thereby making their break with the Zwingli Reformation church final and establishing their brotherhood as a distinct Christian body. The movement spread rapidly through the...

Conrad Grebel (1498-1526)

Conrad Grebel (ca. 1498-1526), can be considered the chief founder of Swiss-South German Anabaptism. He is historically very significant, for without him Anabaptism in its historical form would probably never have come into existence and he represents original Anabaptism in the form in which it has been perpetuated to the present day. Grebel was viewed as the outstanding leader of original Swiss Anabaptism (properly called...

Jakob Hutter | biography

It is a false assumption to consider the simple and unlearned hat maker Jakob Hutter the founder and beginner of the Anabaptists in Tyrol; for the Anabaptist movement had long been thriving when Hutter entered it. But it is certain that none in the eastern Anabaptist movement was so successful in creating and reforming.He was also the founder of that peculiar organization which preserved itself...

Hutterian Brethren

The Hutterian Brethren, also called Hutterites, the Austrian branch of the great Anabaptist movement of the 16th century, was characterized by the practice of community of goods, as first established in Moravia in 1529 and re-established on more solid grounds by Jakob Hutter in 1533. In contradistinction to the other Anabaptist groups the Hutterites had the unique chance to develop their communal life in comparatively...

Amish Division

The Amish division was the most serious and the only major schism which occurred in the South German Anabaptist-Mennonite groups, when a considerable minority under the leadership of Elder Jakob Ammann, of Erlenbach, canton of Bern, Switzerland, in 1693-1697 divided from the main body. Jakob Ammann has three issues on which Hans Reist, the leader of the opposing side, would not agree with them, namely:...

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